If the State Of The Store Manager 2010 survey offered glimmers of hope after a tempestuous 2009 response, this year's version signals a return to something closer to normal. We haven't seen this sort of level-headedness in any survey we've conducted in years, certainly not since 2007, the last time we charted a general feeling of goodwill between store-level associates and corporate bosses.
Indeed, this year's pool of well over 100 responders was a mild-mannered bunch, which is to say something given that several of our survey-takers are perennial participants. Many from the same lot that ranted frustrations in 2009, casting most blame at corporate lameness, participated again this year. This time 'round they answered the same questions posed back then with a bit more congeniality.